"We're super excited to finally be coming out of the ground andletting tenants and the community see that it's real after talkingabout it for so long," says Gar Herring, president of theDallas-based development group. He tells GlobeSt.com that MGHerringsecured a $40-million loan from Bank of America to supplement citybonds to make the events center become a reality. The center willsit at the epicenter of three million sf in side-by-side projectsspanning 400 acres at the junction of Stacy Road and US Hwy.75.

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"We climbed some very challenging hurdles," Herring adds. "Thefinancing was extremely complex." The developer, city and facilityoperator, Phoenix-based Global EntertainmentCorp. have stakes in the project, with MGHerring floating aloan separate from its construction financing for the Village atAllen and Village at Fairview.

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[IMGCAP(2)]The developer has transferred a 15-acre tract in theVillage of Allen to the city, which will own the events center, twoparking decks and the land. A cross-access agreement has been inkedbetween the developer and city.

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Dallas-based Hunt Construction Co. is the center's generalcontractor while Cadence McShane Corp., also from Dallas, willbuild one parking deck and Plano, TX-based Hill & WilkinsonLtd. will build the other. The events center will neighbor a220-room Courtyard by Marriott, a $40-million projectby Springfield, MO-based John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts Inc.Dirt work has just started for the hotel, now penciled to deliverin summer 2009.

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MGHerring's regional mixed-use projects are being touted as thelargest undertaking of its type in Texas and one of the largest inthe US. The developer to date is holding commitments for more thanone million sf of retail space. Allen's phase one will deliver Oct.15 and the second phase will come on line in March 2009. The1.4-million-sf Fairview's grand opening is slated for Aug. 5,2009.

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Allen's first phase is anchored by a Best Buy, Dick's SportingGoods, TJ Maxx, Home Goods and Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us. Phasetwo's anchor is Super Target. Herring says retail spaces will startto turn over for finish-out Aug. 1. Fairview's anchors areDillard's, Macy's, JCPenney, Village Roadshow, Container Store,Italian restaurant Patrizio and Bailey's Prime Plus.

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Global Entertainment, holding a long-term management andoperator's contract for the events center, is finalizing plans toadd a Central Hockey League team to its venue card. The leaguefranchise will be disclosed in November. The center has beendesigned with 6,275 fixed seats, capacity for 8,500 seats and 25suites. Its drawing card will sport 150 events per year, which areprojected to draw more than 600,000 visitors annually to concerts,family entertainment and top touring shows like Cirque de Soliel'sSaltimbanco, Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney's"High School Musical" and "Disney on Ice." Other events willinclude trade shows, festivals, community events, high schoolevents and open rink ice skating.

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"Public/private partnerships leverage the city's ability toprovide community amenities that we would not otherwise be able toenjoy in Allen," Allen Mayor Steve Terrell says in a press release."Not only does it achieve the city council's long-term, strategicplan to provide a regional draw to Allen, but it will create afirst-class entertainment and sports venue while providing apositive economic impact to the community."

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